What’s new and what’s happening in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges

Winter truly is a magical time in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges. Fireplaces crackle to life in stylish new accommodation options, while cosy eateries and welcoming wineries serve up cool climate wines pared with heart-warming and wholesome dishes.

Here’s what’s new and what’s happening around Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges over the winter months.


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Trentham Winterfest, Trentham

Embrace the winter chill at the first ever Trentham Winterfest. Wander along High Street and Market Street, enjoying warming winter treats and special offers along the way. Expect dazzling lights, spiced wine, roasted chestnuts, tasty street food, live music and more.

Where: High Street and Market Street, Trentham

When: Friday 2 August, from 4pm-8pm

Tickets: this is a free event, find out more here.


Words in Winter, Daylesford and surrounds

Words in Winter Festival returns to Daylesford this August, where a mix of LGBTQIA+, First Nations, local, and visiting writers will explore the theme ‘connection of the heart.’ With over 30 events featuring poetry readings, children’s events, workshops, and author’s talks, the festival promises something for people of all tastes and appetites for interaction.

Where: Various venues around Daylesford & surrounds

When: Friday 23 to Sunday 25 August, 2024

Tickets: the full program and tickets can be found at wordsinwinter.com


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Victor Blain takes over as chef at Tuki

Chef Victor Blain has taken over the reins at Tuki, bringing with him a wealth of experience working at renowned restaurants around the world. His culinary journey started at Grenoble Academy in France, since then Victor has had a stellar career working in Michelin star restaurants in London, Chef de Partie at Vue de Monde and most recently as Head Chef at Smith St Bistrot in Melbourne. At Tuki, Victor will showcase the best produce the farm and wider region has to offer.

Special events over winter include:

  • Bastille Day Lunch on Sunday July 14 featuring a celebratory lunch of French cuisine, priced at $110 per person.
  • French Brunch every Saturday and Sunday until the end of July, starting at 10am it will feature French pastries, juice, tea, coffee, and croque monsieur. This will be followed by a short farm tour and fishing for trout in the resident trout ponds (with the trout included to take home). This family friendly event is priced at $100 for adults and $50 for children.
  • Tuki will also offer their popular Sunday Roast menu during winter, priced at $85 per person.

When: Tuki is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch from 12-3pm and for dinner every Friday and Saturday night from 6pm-8.30pm.

Where: 60 Stoney Rises Road, Smeaton

Bookings: tuki.com.au

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Still Moon House – new cellar door and tapas bar in Trentham

The newest kid on the block in Trentham, Still Moon House doubles as both a cellar door and tapas bar. Enjoy a tasting of Still Moon wines, paired with a tasty dish from the seasonal menu, which rotates weekly depending on what’s in season. Or time your visit right to enjoy their monthly high tea experience.

Where: 2/22 High Street, Trentham

When: Open Friday & Saturday from 12pm-9pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm

Bookings: stillmoon.com.au/cellar-door

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Photo by @mtss_photography

Marchesa – Italian fine diner now open on Piper Street, Kyneton

Marchesa has taken over the space that was formerly occupied by Spaghetti Bar on Piper Street, Kyneton. Chef Daniel Whelan (formerly Spaghetti Bar, Kyneton) and Daniel Saligari (formerly at Cecconi’s Flinders Lane, and Midnight Starling) have teamed up to bring you Marchesa, an intimate Italian dining experience showcasing the best produce the region has to offer. Chef Daniel uses organically grown, fresh seasonal produce sourced from local growers to create an Italian menu featuring hand made pasta, fresh seafood and simple, sophisticated dishes based on regional Italian recipes.

Where: 58 Piper Street, Kyneton

When: For dinner from Thursday to Sunday from 5:15pm and for lunch on Sunday from 12pm

Bookings: marchesa.com.au

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Truffle & The Wines of Italy, Lake House, Daylesford

Celebrate 40 years of the iconic Lake House with this sumptuous winter lunch within Lake House’s waterfront pavilion, which boasts exceptional views across misty lake Daylesford. This multi-course set chef’s menu will feature local truffles, alongside other trusted suppliers, paired with Italian wines from Trembath & Taylor’s revered portfolio focusing on the wines of Piedmont.

Where: Lake House, Daylesford

When: Saturday 20 July, from 12pm-4pm

Bookings: $395 per person, book now at lakehouse.com.au/the-cellar-series-lunches-2

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Christmas in July at Glen Erin, Lancefield

Join the annual Christmas in July celebrations at Glen Erin in Lancefield. Experience the magic of a winter wonderland as they transform their retreat into a cosy haven reminiscent of Mr. and Mrs. Claus’s North Pole. Indulge in a sumptuous three-course Christmas feast, complemented by bottomless Glen Erin wines, select beers, cider, and soft drinks. A family friendly event, there will also be a surprise visit from a certain man in red.

When: Sunday 28 July, from 12pm-4pm

Where: Glen Erin at Lancefield, 200 Rochford Road, Lancefield

Bookings: glenerin.com.au/post/christmas-in-july-2024

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Celebrate 25 Years of Beers at Holgate Taproom, Woodend

There’s no better time to visit the Holgate Taproom than winter. And this year, a drop-in is even more essential as Holgate are celebrating their ’25 Years of Beers’, releasing 25 special release beers on tap and in cans. Have a chat with one of the friendly team behind the bar and they can recommend the perfect cold weather brew for you. Or stay awhile, have some snacks or lunch, and a tasting paddle – or just select from their 16 taps of specialty beers, including ’25 Years’ releases such as Entwined Saison (Molly Rose collab), UXB: Xtra Strong English Bitter and more.

When: Holgate Taproom is open 12pm to 5pm (Mon-Wed), 12pm to 7pm (Thu-Sun)

Where: next to Holgate Brewhouse, Anslow Street, Woodend

Further information: holgatebrewhouse.com/taproom

Sault Restaurant

Mid-week winter special at Sault, Daylesford

Feast on fresh, seasonal produce straight from the kitchen garden as you tuck into this mid-week winter special at Sault restaurant just outside Daylesford. Here the seasonal menu is designed to incorporate the freshest ingredients with the highest quality produce they can source, with a strong focus on Sault’s own kitchen gardens, complimented by produce from regional organic farms. Pull up a spot beside the fire place and enjoy Sault’s mid-week winter special, which includes two-courses, plus a glass of local wine for $80 per person. Or, you can also choose a three-course menu for $105 or four-course menu for $125.

When: Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30pm during winter

Where: 2349 Ballan Daylesford Road, Daylesford

Bookings: sault.com.au/bookings-general

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Winter warmers at Wombat Forest Vineyard, Denver

Celebrate winter at Wombat Forest Vineyard, where you can sip on boutique wines, enjoy seated tastings and meet the wine maker. On offer all winter long, they’ll also have mulled wine, tempting seasonal platters, cosy wood fires. There will be live music on selected days, along with cosy throw rugs to keep you warm and board games for those who wish to linger longer.

When: every Saturday and Sunday (and public holidays), from 11am-5pm

Where: 189 Springhill Road, Denver

Further information: wombatforestwines.com


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Merinda, a stylish new 4-bedroom retreat in Mount Franklin

Merinda, nestled in Mount Franklin, is the perfect winter retreat. Designed by Pleysier and Perkins Architects, it offers stylish country living with Belle Bright interiors and a Morsco Danish wood-fire for cozy nights. Set on 28 acres with a Paul Bangay-designed garden, enjoy panoramic views, kangaroos, and kookaburras. Luxurious king-sized beds and ducted heating ensure comfort, while the outdoor fire pit and scenic terrace provide ideal spots to soak in the serene beauty.

Further information: dayget.com.au/accommodation/merinda

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norsu Cabin – new Scandi retreat in Macedon

norsu Cabin is a stylish new accommodation option in the charming township of Macedon, at the foot of the forested slopes of Mount Macedon. This A-frame double story retreat, with its stunning wood beams, pitched ceilings and flourishing landscape immediately transports you to a world away. Lovingly renovated and styled by norsu Design, inside you’ll discover a luxuriously cosy Scandi haven filled with a curated collection of stylish furniture, original artworks and exclusive homewares. Perfect for a family or friends’ getaway, norsu Cabin comfortably sleeps eight guests across three-bedrooms. Comprising two newly renovated bathrooms with indoor bath, indoor fireplace, relaxing sitting room with bar and an outdoor bath beside a fire pit so you can soak under the stars.

Further information: norsucabin.com.au

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Islay House – refurbished colonial style accommodation in the heart of Woodend

Islay House has opened in central Woodend after a meticulous restoration. Previously known as the British and American Hotel, a coaching inn hosting the hopeful gold miners as they walked to Bendigo in the 1860s, Islay House now offers luxury colonial-style accommodation. Here you will find five beautifully decorated rooms all with ensuites, which can be booked in individually as the whole house, with a capacity for nine guests. Decorated with antiques, original art works and comfy furniture, guests enjoy not only their own room but the lounge, morning room and extensive gardens.

Further information: visitmacedonranges.com/tourism-listing/islay-house-woodend


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Healing with Horses & Wellness Retreats, Heart of the Horse, Drummond North

This inspiring and holistic retreat gifts you space and time to immerse yourself in the transformative power of horse wisdom, where the gentle presence of horses guide you toward emotional clarity and self-awareness.

This is an opportunity for you to take time out, unwind, de-stress, and come back to that inner knowing within yourself. Through rejuvenating practices and nourishing food as well as facilitated time experiencing the healing power of horses. You will leave with a deeper connection to your inner sense of self and a lot more peace within your being.

When: multiple dates throughout winter: 28-30 June 2024 | 9-11 August 2024 | 23-25 August 2024 | 6-8 September 2024

Where: Heart of the Horse, Drummond North

Further information: heartofthehorse.com.au

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Maze House winter school holiday fun, Newlyn North

For some good old fashioned fun, rug up and get lost at Maze House during the winter school holidays.

Join the special winter maze hunt, with prizes for those who find all the clues. Test your skills with original old time carnival games dotted throughout the garden. When done, wander back through the winter garden brimming with bulbs, before warming up in the cosy garden café with hot chocolates, chocolate brownies, homemade cakes and more.

When: open every day of the winter school holidays, 28 June to 14 July.

Where: 3155 Midland Hwy Newlyn North (less than 10-minutes drive from Daylesford)

Further information and bookings: mazehouse.com.au

About the author

Daylesford Macedon Tourism

Daylesford Macedon Tourism Ltd is the Regional Tourism Board for the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region.